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Unchartered Waters: Funky Trunks F-Teamers join ISL

17 October 2019

Travis Mahoney
Travis Mahoney dives head first into the ISL wearing his custom APEX for the Aqua Centurions team

Funky Trunks F-Teamers Travis Mahoney (Marion SC) and Jack Mcloughlin (Chandler SC) have been invited to compete in the International Swimming League (ISL) which kicked off last week.

The ISL is a new, innovative swim league designed to drive competitive swimming into an era of professionalism and commercialism to promote the sport and its athletes. The competition has already been backed by many coaches and swimmers alike, with 75% of current Olympic medallists taking part in the league. With an increased interest from a global television audience the league is proposed to ultimately benefit athletes, clubs and coaches to achieve sustainability, financial gain and performance potential.

We caught up with both swimmers, to find out more about how they felt to be a part of this new exciting league.

Jack McLoughlin
Jack McLoughlin is ready to race in his custom made APEX Performance Jammers and Dome Cap

Aquatics makes up only 0.03% of the global sporting market; with leading swimmers receiving significantly less money compared to other sports. This is despite 87% of all Olympic viewers tuning into swimming and approximately 300 million regular participants within the sport around the globe.

The ISL six-pillar format consists of eight teams of 24 invited athletes, 12 men and 12 women, within each team respectfully. These swimmers will go head-to-head to battle across an array of fast paced events including individuals, relays and skins (a series of back to back races operating on a knockout basis) to score points for their team and duel against the best swimmers from around the world. This leads to a grand final in the US this December.

Travis Mahoney
Travis Mahoney takes the big stage for the Aqua Centurions

Were you excited to receive the invitation to compete in the ISL? Did you have any reservations?

Travis: I'm excited to get involved, I love racing and to have the opportunity to race with and against the best in the world is great. I had no reservations, I actively sought out this opportunity and I'm glad to be a part of it. Being the inaugural season it will be special to be involved and compete for the Aqua Centurions team in the league!

Jack: I was for sure. I think it's a really unique opportunity and will definitely change swimming for the better so it's very exciting to be part of the first ISL and represent the NY Breakers team!

Has your selection for ISL impacted your training at all?

Jack: Not so much yet, as I am still able to train at home. But once I go away, I will be competing and racing away from home for 4 weeks so will have to change my training patterns to accommodate but it also gives me a great chance to train with some of the best athletes in the world which I'm excited for.

Do you train with your ISL team in the lead up to each event and is there a team coach that you will train under while with the team?

Travis: There's no training with the team before the competition starts. We meet in Indianapolis 2 days before and following the first competition we head straight to Naples, where we all train for 1 week before the second competition there. The team head coach is the coach of Federica Pellegrini

Jack: Only for the middle meet, I will meet my team in Dallas for the first meet then we will all travel to Budapest and train together before we compete then I will go back to LA and train with a distance friend there before meeting my team again in Washington DC. Our head coach is Peter Andrew who trains and is father to Michael Andrew.

Do you have a choice in which events you'll race in and which events you'll be focussing on?

Jack: I will be focusing on the 200 and 400 free.

Travis: I made myself available for IM, backstroke and Freestyle relays, so far they have told me I will be racing the 400 IM and 400 free but more events may be added to my program.

Travis Mahoney
Travis Mahoney is a keen traveller with the lure of competing in various cities around the world too good to pass up.

Out of all of the meet locations, is there one in particular you are looking forward to visiting?

Jack: Budapest is one of my favourite cities in the world so I am looking forward to that.

Travis: I think all of the locations will be great to see and visit, I haven't been to any of them. Although, the weather and food of Italy has me very excited!

Do you think that this new format will change the future of swimming?

Jack: I think it will, it's always hard to say at the start because it's just so new and never done before. It will be hard with so much international talent we have in swimming where so many countries have amazing swimmers but if they are able to get a good structure down where it doesn't affect everyone's training then it will definitely be something to look forward to in the future.

Travis: This new format is incredibly exciting, there is an opportunity to grow the sport of swimming to what it should be and help create new opportunities for swimmers to do great things.

It must be exciting to be a part of such an innovative swimming league. What are you most looking forward to?

Travis: The most exciting thing for me is to race with and against the best in the world and hang out when we aren't racing as the swimming world is like a big family. I can't wait to make new friends and create some amazing memories.

Jack: Being able to train and race with different athletes from all over the world and to hopefully learn a few new things to help my swimming.

Aquatics makes up only 0.03% of the global sporting market; with leading swimmers receiving significantly less money compared to other sports. This is despite 87% of all Olympic viewers tuning into swimming and approximately 300 million regular participants within the sport around the globe.

The ISL six-pillar format consists of eight teams of 24 invited athletes, 12 men and 12 women, within each team respectfully. These swimmers will go head-to-head to battle across an array of fast paced events including individuals, relays and skins (a series of back to back races operating on a knockout basis) to score points for their team and duel against the best swimmers from around the world. This leads to a grand final in the US this December.

We wish our F-Teamers all the best throughout the ISL competitions and look forward to keeping up with the results!

You can watch the ISL live this weekend on 7 Plus, with highlights of every ISL meet also being shown on 7TWO and online here

ISL - Group B: Match 1

Dallas, USA - October 20 - 21

Sydney/Melbourne 6.00am LIVE on 7plus | Adelaide 5.30am LIVE on 7plus

Perth 3.00am LIVE on 7plus | Brisbane 5.00am LIVE on 7plus

Jack McLoughlin Tavis Mahoney
ISL

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